Apple acquires Mira, a startup building lightweight AR hardware

Apple has acquired Mira, an augmented reality (AR) headset startup, for an undisclosed amount, according to The Verge.

Founded by entrepreneur Ben Taft in 2016 and based in Los Angeles, Mira has been making AR headsets for customers, including Universal Studios for attractions at its Nintendo World theme parks. Investors, including Blue Bear Capital, Happiness Ventures, and Sequoia, poured $17 million into the startup prior to the acquisition, betting big on its heads-up displays and software to create AR apps, games and experiences.

Mira, which TechCrunch covered in 2020, originally pitched its hardware as a lightweight introduction to the world of AR, emphasizing consumer apps. But it later pivoted toward industrial rollouts — a more profitable market, presumably.

As┬áThe Verge notes, Mira had several military contracts at one point, including agreements with the U.S. Air Force and Navy. We’ve reached out to the company to see whether those contracts will continue under Apple’s ownership.

News of the acquisition follows the unveiling of Apple’s Vision Pro headset, the company’s long-rumored — and first — stab at AR. It’s unclear to what degree Mira might play a role in Apple’s AR roadmap, but The Verge reports that Jony Ive, Apple’s longtime former product designer, was an advisor to Mira at one point.